HIBRID was established in 2014 by designer Courtney Shelton. It is a design space with a passion for a variety of design fields including hand-lettering, fashion, interior design, illustration, pattern design and more. HIBRID focuses primarily on hand-lettering and has produced a number of collaborations with brands such as Collective Ex, Lou & Grey, May Designs, SewKC, Regas Studio, and more.
Courtney completed her studies at the Savannah College of Art and Design where she earned a BFA. in Interior Design, and a MA. in Graphic Design. You can enjoy more of Courtney’s work in Ascenders Volume.1, Leaders in Contemporary Lettering.
Read on to find out more about the creative process behind HIBRID in our interview with founder, Courtney Shelton.
Hello Courtney! Thank you for taking the time to speak with us today.
Firstly can you tell us about your design space, HIBRID. What do you specialise in and how would you describe the aesthetic style of the work you produce?
Within HIBRID, I love keeping my options open and not pigeon holing myself and my work too much, because honestly, I love it all, but most of what I am asked to work on is hand-lettering work! I would say my aesthetic and style are full of character, organic in nature, but also modern and sleek in how I present it in its composition and chosen color palette.
We’re delighted to feature your hand lettering portfolio within Ascenders Volume.1, Leaders in Contemporary Lettering. Could you tell us about the pieces that you are featuring within the publication?
I like to keep a variety of lettering styles in my portfolio and I wanted to showcase that here within my spread in Ascenders Volume. 1! A thick brushy style, a thin, elegant monoweight style, and an innovative outline style that is similar to the thick brushy one.
Can you give us a flavour for the types of clients and projects you have worked with so far?
I’ve worked with a variety of clients, and most of them come to me because they’ve seen my work before and they feel it fits the image and look they are wanting to portray. Most are fun, bright, and colorful!
Do you have any ‘bucket list’ projects that you would love to work on, and if so, what would these be?
One thing that I would love to be able to do is lettering for the Ban.do Agenda/Planner! It has always been a planner that I LOVE and brand that I LOVE, so being a part of it with work in it would be so fun!
We would love to hear more about your lettering project #HIBRIDwords. We enjoy your use of bold and vibrant colours paired with carefully crafted lettering and throughout provoking statements and quotes. To us it evokes positivity and encourages personal growth.
Could you share how you decide upon the text and design, and what your creative process is when creating pieces such as ‘RISK’?
#HIBRIDwords is really just a collection of my lettering journey :) I like to alternate and switch up what styles I letter in so that I can practice my craft on each of them. When it comes to choosing color, I LOOOOOVE bright, bold colors and I’m usually looking to stay on what color combos and palettes are trending at the moment!
As far as what phrase or mantra I’m lettering, I really leave that open to whatever I’m feeling or whatever is inspiring me at that moment.
Where do you go to find your sources of inspiration, and what’s one that every designer should know about?
Oh man! I find things EVERYWHERE! Pinterest and Instagram are huge inspiration outlets for me. I’m always scrolling through my home feed or “search” tab to take in new things I haven’t seen yet! The internet has definitely changed how we are inspired and what we see...but I always love being in a book store every now and then. The loads of inspiration in there are truly endless.
You founded HIBRID in 2014, and today your business encompasses an impressive range of avenues including design services, a product line, a significant Instagram following (including a very cute husky!) and content rich blog. Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur? Could you tell us about the challenges you faced and overcame in starting your own business?
I never really knew I wanted to be an Entrepreneur until I started working after college in Corporate America. After a few short months, I learned very quickly that Entrepreneurship was definitely the route for me! As an Entrepreneur, there isn’t always a defined and direct path of where you’re supposed to go, and what you’re supposed to do. Most times, there isn’t anyone else there to help you either. You can watch and look what others do, but we’re all different and all in different situations. I think the only real way to overcome challenges is to have grit and never give up. Entrepreneurship isn’t always for everyone, but I simply just can’t imagine living my life on someone else’s terms. Life is special and it’s meant to be lived however we dream it!
You design and sell your own merchandise via the HIBRID shop. Your product range consists of pins, prints, stationery and even an iPhone app! How do you decide what products to feature within your store?
I obviously like to sell and post items that my customers want and need, but the great thing about deciding what goes in your store is it can be whatever you want! I never like putting restrictions on myself. I like to think that if I can see the idea in my head, than there is definitely a way I can somehow bring it to life!
To celebrate International Women’s Day you collaborated with two other design studios, Emma Bone and Harley Quinn and Co to design a range of prints. What does International Women’s Day mean to you and what messages did you seek to convey with your artwork?
That was such a fun collab and I LOVED how each of the pieces turned out! This collection was really about empowering women to dream big and be whatever they want to be, but also encouraging them to help build each other and support one another with positivity and praise instead of the negative, competitive nature that we can sometimes see among us when it comes to “being the best” as women, or even just humans in general.
What does 2019 hold in store for HIBRID? Do you have any personal or professional projects in the works that you can share with us?
In addition to continuing to share my lettering journey, I have also started a Rodan + Fields business! I am really excited and looking forward to sharing it with more of my network this year is the business, the products, and how I can help change the lives of others! And that right there has always been what the foundation of HIBRID was built upon: Inspiring and helping others.